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Unstuffed shells are like delcious stuffed shells, just easier! Rather than being stuffed, the shells are completey coated in the delcious ricotta cheese filling! Which I prefer, because there is more filling coating the pasta shells than if it were stuffed inside so therefore more creamy and tasty.

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pasta covered in sauce in a metal pan with a wooden spoon

One Pot Unstuffed Shells

Being made in one pot, the ease of this recipe is taken a step even further, no need for the extra dishes or extra hassle. Make these ricotta shells in one pot and careful not to enjoy this dish all in one bite, you’re going to want to!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This is essentially a cheat stuffed shell recipe. It is much easier to make, and to eat! No knife needed just stab with your fork and enjoy!
  • The sauce is simplistic but creamy ricotta makes for a scrumptious rich sauce without working too hard.

Ingredients Needed

  • Pasta – I used large shells but you can use any kind you like
  • Extra virgin olive oil- Use your favorite brand
  • Onion- Use a yellow onion and dice it up.
  • Garlic- Finely chopped.
  • Tomatoes– Crushed.
  • Honey – This is to cut the acidity of the tomatoes
  • Spices – Red Pepper Flakes, Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper
  • Ricotta cheese – Regular or low fat is fine
  • Mozzarella- Shredded – shred your own so it melts best!

How to Make Unstuffed Shells

  • Cook pasta: Cook the pasta in a large pot according to the package directions. Then, drain and set it aside for later.
  • Cook other ingredients: Using the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent; this should take about 3-4 minutes, be sure to stir it often. Add the tomatoes, honey, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and stir. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, for about 8-10 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add cheese and combine all ingredients: Return pasta to the pot with the sauce, then add the ricotta and mozzarella and stir until cheese melts. Serve hot. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Swap

One thing I love about pasta dishes is that there are so many options, you can really custimze pasta in any way you’d like. Between different pasta types, cheeses, sauces, and add-ins there is so much to explore! If you’re the type that gets overwhelmed with all the different choices here are two of my favorite pasta variations: Sausage mac n cheese and baked penne.

pasta covered in sauce in a metal pan with a wooden spoon

What are Good Side Dishes for Unstuffed Shells?

Some of my favorite dishes for unstuffed shells are:

FAQs

Can I use low-fat ingredients?

Yes you can, the amount of full-fat ingredients or the absence of won’t affect the taste of the unstuffed shells.

Can I use another pasta shape?

Yes you can! Feel free to use any pasta shape that your heart desires. 

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in a airtight container in the fridge. 

Have you made this recipe

Leave a rating by clicking the stars below!

close up of One Pot Stuffed Shells with a spoonful being taken out of the pot for serving

One Pot Unstuffed Shells

5 from 1 vote
One Pot Unstuffed Shells – this easy stuffed shell recipe is all made in one pot without all the extra work! It’s a great weeknight meal and everyone loves it!
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 10 ounce package Shell Pasta (or your favorite shape)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped_
  • 1 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Using the same pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, honey, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and stir. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, for about 8-10 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return pasta to the pot with the sauce, then add the ricotta and mozzarella and stir until cheese melts.
  • Serve hot. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 641IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 416mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

One Pot Unstuffed Shells is an easier version of manicotti – make it all in one pot! One pot pasta is an easy 30 minute meal perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Last Updated on January 2, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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4 Comments

  1. This looks delicious! I just have one question. If you wanted to add ground beef or sausage, when would you do it. Thanks for any help you can give me. Have a wonderful and blessed day and weekend.